We bought Annabelle some Compare Bears recently, and we began using them to count along with her Ten Little Teddy Bears story, recently we have been expanding on this with some sorting, counting, number matching and weighing.
We practiced some sorting by colour when the bears first arrived, and the next day Annabelle set this little game up herself, sorting the bears into coloured cups.
After this, I showed Annabelle the numbers on the bottom of the cups (she is really interested in spotting numbers out and about at the moment!) and we traced each number with our fingers and counted the correct number of bears into the cup. She is really good at reciting numbers aloud, and is starting to get the hang of 1:1 correspondence – pointing to or moving 1 object at a time, as you say the number out loud, rather than saying the numbers aloud at a different pace.
We had another shopping spree on Amazon and chose some fabulous balance scales. Scales are always popular in the classroom, but these ones are great as they are so versatile. The clear ‘buckets’ have liquid measurement marks in mililitres along the side, and lids so that you can use them with weights or other objects as well as liquid.
We started exploring these by putting the bears into the buckets and seeing what happens. Annabelle enjoyed chatting about the buckets being ‘up’ or ‘down’, and I began introducing the vocabulary ‘heavier’, ‘lighter’ and ‘the same’. Next we played a game with Annabelle and I taking it in turns to put in one bear at a time and seeing what happens. She soon realised that the small ‘baby bears’ were lighter than the middle and larger size bears. To practice using the vocabulary, we played a game where Annabelle put a few bears into her bucket, and I tried to match the weight. We talked about whether the buckets were the same weight, or who’s was heaviest or lightest. Annabelle went back to this several times over the next few days, putting groups of bears into each side and watching the scales go up or down. Of course, she also used them as a ‘see saw’ for the bears!
We have lots more plans afoot for our bears including counting games, matching number sets, making and matching patterns and memory games. Not bad for a bucket full of bears!